Taking into consideration the provisions of the private colleges' bylaws, the following words and phrases, wherever found in these rules, have the assigned meanings as below:
Every college should have more than one academic department, the academic years must not be less than four years, or equivalent, to grant first higher education degree (bachelors) and college shall award diplomas for majors it has license for bachelors level, or other related majors needed in labor market.
General Committee of Licensure and Accreditation:
A committee formed by decision of the Minister of Education, that studies the reports of the specialized committees on areas of general accreditation and special accreditation.
Charity organizations that are established, according to the executive rules of establishment of charity organizations for educational purposes (above secondary level), and other licensed charity organizations.
To get initial license from Ministry of Education to establish a private college. It is binding on the company at the time of its establishment, to have written company contract mentioning the following:
- Company should be a general partnership or a limited liability company, and formed for the purpose of investment in private colleges. It should mention name and address of head office, names of partners, their residence addresses, and professions, nationalities, company capital, and adequate details of partners about the share they are going to provide and their value date, branches it may open by the approval of Ministry of Education.
- No new partners, no sale or transfer of the share from partners share in the company to other partner, or to new partner without the permission of Ministry of Education.
- Each partners' share should be particular amount of money, or kind, fairly valued by assigned personnel of Ministry of Education.
- Company should keep aside every year 10% from net profit as a legal reserve, and it have to stop once the legal reserve reach half of the amount of its total capital.
- There should be no winding up of the company, until assuring available seats for the students in corresponding colleges, after approval of the Ministry of Education.
- In case settlement of the company takes place, all such resources shall be used for set purposes. All the benefits, donations and bequeath should be transferred to Ministry of Education by coordinating with Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Endowments and Call and Guidance and spend it for its intended purposes.
- The company should not wind up if one of its partner dies, the confiscation thereof, in bankruptcy, insolvency, or somebody withdraw from the company.
- Company may continue with its inheritors even if they are minors or continue with the remaining partners but number of partners must be five.
To get initial license to establish college, an application should be submitted to the minister signed by founder with following documents attached:
- An economic feasibility study of the college approved by a licensed professional office in the kingdom. Study should include information and data from concerned authorities in the kingdom.
- Names of the founders with attached CV’s and photocopies of national identity card, a coordinator for the ministry should be selected, to ascertain following about each founder:
- Must be a Saudi national.
- Shouldn't be a government employee.
- Must be good of Conduct, not be terminated from general services, and not be disqualified from education on disciplinary grounds, unless one be rehabilitated.
- Must be legally adult.
- Must have financial and administrative capabilities to establish the project.
- Minimum founders should be five persons, and three persons must have higher education degree.
- A financial guarantee in the name of Ministry of Education, issued by any Saudi bank, appropriate with estimated student admissions, in each college admission capacity must not be lesser than 1000 students.
- Suggested college name, head office and branches if exist.
- Mission of the college and its objectives in accordance with kingdom's higher education policy.
- Existence/Provision of an educational hospital with 200 bed capacity for medical programs.
- Form # 1 duly filled in with the following information:
- Detailed information about financial and human capital of the college.
- Capital provided by founders for the college.
- Academic departments, certifications, degrees to be awarded and research units of the college.
- Expected education start date.
In order to get general approval for establishing college an application must be submitted to the Minister of Education with the following attachments:
- Copy of initial license.
- Expected number of full-time regular students after completion of the college, the numbers must not be less than 1000 students.
- Names of the candidates of the board of trustees.
- Name of suggested college rector.
- Evaluation and approval of academic and pedagogic programs, courses, syllabi, credit hours and course works by official authorities, approved by Ministry of Education.
- Land ownership deed for college establishment.
- Building permit for college project.
- Architectural building drawings with numbers of facilities and their designs.
- Requirements for general accreditation of following college components:
First: Buildings and Facilities
College buildings and facilities should be on land allocated for the college as per following details:
Area allotment per student should be 40 sq meters, of total college area multi-story buildings are included in this calculation.
Numbers of students per section should not exceed:
Number of Students|
Humanities and Administration Specializations||35|
It is required that the area allocated for each student should not be less than 1.5 sq meters and the lecture hall must not be less than 30 sq meters, these halls should accommodate minimum 65% from the total college students at a time.
Auditorium for Activities and Seminars:
College buildings should have at least one auditorium for at least 200 students and the size, should not be less than 300 sq meters, and have swimming pool with separated entry and exit and dedicated exit for emergency, and must be equipped with audio-video and adequate lighting equipment.
Laboratory size should be at least 60 sq meters with 3 sq meters space for one student and the capacity of the laboratory should not exceed 20 students.
Area allotment per student should be 3 sq meters on average and capacity of any lab should not exceed 30 students.
Standard of computer lab should be high with regard to hardware and software, prepared with integrated network, space of the lab should be 2 sq meters per student, and there should be 24 students per lab.
Maximum devices in computer labs number shall be within the following ratios:
Devices Students Ratio|
Computer Majors and their branches||One computer for 4 students|
All other Specializations||One computer for 24 students|
Printer||One for each lab|
Workshop or Workspace:
Area of the workshop or workspace should be 60 sq meters, minimum 4 sq meters for each Student. There should be no more than 15 students in one workshop or workspace and there should be no less than four workshops or workspaces for engineering specializations.
Offices of Faculty Members, Those Similar in Rank and Administrators:
Single faculty member office should be 9 sq meters; in necessity, two faculty members can share one office on condition that area of each one should be 7.5 sq meters. Similarly ranked or administrators' separate office area must not be less than 8 sq meters, in case there is shared office, office allotment for each shall be 6 sq meters in size.
College should reserve at least 1 sq meters area for each registered student for library at the time of library building construction, college should provide one chair in the library for every five students.
Total area of health unit must be 160 sq meters minimum, and it should have basic standard equipment to provide necessary medical services.
Health unit resources shall be as follows:
One Doctor (if there are more than 2000 students in the college a doctor for every 2000 students).
A Nurse for each Clinic.
First Aid Equipment.
Sports (Play) Grounds:
College must have one outdoor and one indoor ground as per below mentioned approved standards:
Standard Ground Size|
Basket Ball||26 × 14 meters|
Volley Ball||18 × 9 meters|
Hand Ball||40 × 20 meters|
Lawn Tennis||24 × 11 meters|
It is recommended that college should provide a Foot Ball ground for the students.
If the number of students in the college exceeds 3000 students, it is necessary for college to provide an indoor sports hall not less than 2000 sq meters in size, and its height should be at least seven meters as per international standards and it should have following facilities:
- Interchangeable ground, having two grounds each for basket ball, hand ball, volley ball, lawn tennis, badminton and squash.
- Adjacent halls should have facilities for self defense sports (judo, karate, taekwondo) boxing, table tennis, gymnastics, iron chamber and body building.
- Change rooms, with at least three toilets, and hygiene facilities, bathrooms should have hot and cold water.
- Supervisor's and trainer's offices size 7.5 sq meters per staff.
- Stationery or portable auditorium and main stage with sitting arrangements for 200 persons.
College should also provide qualified trainers for these games and there should be at least one trainer for every 1000 students. Privacy of female students should be considered.
There should be facilities for different activities, accessible to students with special needs also, these facilities are:
Includes main restaurant, branches and cafeterias. College should provide restaurant with space for at least 32% students from registered students in the college, and the space for each student should be 1 sq meters (includes area for special services).
College should provide halls for different uses for hosting exhibitions and activities (e.g.: book exhibitions, carving, photography etc.) enough for at least 4% of registered students in the College, 1 sq meters space for each student, and area of hall should be 80 sq meters minimum.
Masjid or Prayer Areas:
College should provide Masjid or prayer area for at least 8% students (including services area), and prayer place allotment per student should be 0.5 sq meters, the one prayer area must be 20% from total dedicated prayer area, if there is more than one prayer area.
College should provide audio-visual halls to accommodate at least 4% of students registered in the college with 1 sq meters space for each student.
It is recommended that college should provide the following facilities or at least some of them:
- Shades for students use, at least for 4% of registered students with space 1.5 sq meters for each student.
- Computer center building.
- Additional laboratories and workshops for student academic activities, and for extra-curricular activities like (e.g.: amateur radio, flying and aviation, cars and computers etc.), to accommodate at least 4% of registered students space should be 1 sq meters for each student.
- Halls for academic seminars, clubs, and student associations and non-curricula activities of students (e.g.: halls for journalism, sculptures and handicrafts, and photography, billiards, table tennis, etc.), it should accommodate at least 10% of registered students, the space should be 1 sq meters for each student and size of the hall must be 30 sq meters minimum.
Facilities shall include one toilet seat and one washbasin for every 50 students, one toilet seat and one washbasin for every 20 faculty members or staff, and the size of each toilet (washroom) must be 5 sq meters minimum and 3 sq meters minimum for shared toilets.
Drinking Water Dispensers:
College should reserve one cold water dispenser per 60 persons. Dispensers shall be distributed adequately for serving different meeting points of students and college dignitaries.
Green Areas and Car Parking:
Green planted areas must not be less than 25% of land area or 100% of total areas of built area. Moreover, car parking slots should be enough for buses and cars of faculty members, administrators and students, and at least one car slot for every four persons of academic and administrative staff and car slot for every 10 students and car slot for every 30 female students.
Each salon car parking slot should be at least 15 sq meters, and each bus parking slot should be at least 30 sq meters.
College building should have ground water storage of at least 300 qu. meters in size and expansion should be of 100 qu. meters for every 1000 students, if the students are more than 2000. If there is a campus hostel for students the storage size should be increased 1 sq meters for every two students who want accommodation in the hostel.
College campus should have appropriate sanitation facilities.
Second: Academic Organization College should have organizational structure as per following:
- A board of trustees, college rectors, deputies, are those, who are bound to private colleges bylaws and regulations, herein they shall work on full-time basis.
- These conditions must be applied on members chosen by Minister of Education and founders. Board of trustees must not be finally approved before taking the necessary statutory approvals.
Board of Trustees:
Board of trustees is formed by the decision of Minister of Education with adherence to private college bylaws. According to these rules and the academic and examination regulations for higher education level. Board of trustees is entrusted with college related matters, and also assigned with the following duties:
- Approval of college policies and issue decisions of head of board of trustees.
- Setting up executive conditions and procedures related to students admission and their academic progression, dismissal, re-admission, graduation and academic guidance regulations, with adherence to the bylaws of study and examinations for higher education level.
- Finalize admissions numbers and schedules for each academic term as per available admission capacities.
- Approval of yearly budget forecast, before three months from the start of new financial year of the college (reporting of college budget to the ministry).
- Decide academic curricula, books, reference works of college departments, prior to their teaching by one academic term.
- State tuition fees, and other education services fees offered by the college.
- Grant (award) educational certificates as per suggestion of college council, without exceeding the academic semester after completion of degree requirements.
- Decide on appointment of faculty members, and those similar in rank, their secondment, and deputation based on recommendation of department and college councils.
- Recommend promotion of faculty members, submission of their cases to academic council of saudi universities for agreement between ministry and college and issue head of board of trustees decisions on their promotion as per the recommendation of academic council.
- Discuss the annual financial report, for legal audit of college, before the end of fourth month of next year.
- Approval of scholarships for lecturers and teaching assistants, and granted scholarships from the college or outside, the scholarship grantor should have approval of the ministry.
- Approval on scholarships grants given to students, whether such grants are funded by the college or from outside.
- Appointment of department heads.
- Decisions about administrative appointments, their promotion and termination.
- Approve yearly report about college activities, particularly in the organization of admissions and studies, faculty members and those similar in rank, student lists of each major and level as per their admission date, and list of graduates, financial standing status, difficulties and constraints faced by the college and ways to solve these. (annual report copy should be provided to the ministry).
- Decide on student matters, which comes under their role, based on submissions to them by the college council.
- Decide about research programs, expansion schemes in academic research programs in college budget.
College Council: Assume powers given to them in article 16 of college bylaws.
College Dean: College dean is appointed from distinguished and qualified Saudi faculty members, having administrative and academic ability, by the decision of Minister of Education and recommended by board of trustees. This appointment is for two-years, renewable term. Dean is responsible for academic affairs, administration, and finances of the college.
Moreover, this appointment should not be in conflict with stipulated rules and regulations, curriculum and exams regulations of higher education level. Dean shall submit annual report of educational affairs and college activities by the end of academic year.
College Deputy: College may have two or more deputies, chosen from Saudi faculty members, and have administrative, and academic ability. And is appointed by board of trustees decision, for two-years renewable term, on rectors nomination. Deputies support the rector in his duty, and senior deputy will represent him in his absence, in case if rector resigns one deputy will assume secretarial duties of the college council.
Department Council: Each college department should have a department council formed from its faculty members, and not contradict with what mentioned in article 18 of private college regulations. And they have to meet at least once a month on invitation of its chairman, its meeting is not valid unless there is attendance of 2/3 members and decisions are issued with majority vote of attending members, in case there are equal votes, chairman's vote will be decisive one.
Council decisions deemed enforced unless there is any objection by dean within 15 days of its receipt by him; objected decision shall be refered to college council. If the council, remain in same opinion as it was initially issued, college council's decision will prevail. department council will suggest to college council course education curricula, prescribed books and references.
Council suggests appointment of faculty members, and lecturers, teaching assistants and their promotion. It will also review academic research plans and will distribute lectures, exercises, training work to faculty members and to teaching assistants and will coordinate department work. Departments are responsible for syllabus, which falls under their specializations after the approval of board of trustees. department council forms permanent or temporary committees within its members.
Department Academic Head: Appointment of department head takes place by the decision of chairperson of board of trustees; this decision is based on nomination by college rector and approval of board of trustees from faculty members showing academic and management competencies. In addition, this appointment is for two-year renewable term, department head is responsible for management of academic, administrative and Financial matters.
Department head shall submit a report about department work to college dean at the end of each academic year. Faculty members and those similar in rank, are:
Language Teachers – Master's Degree Holder
- It is not allowed to grant recruitment support letters until vacancies are advertised in large circulating local newspapers, and also in websites of university, or college and in addition on Ministry of Education's website.
- If there is non-availability of Saudi citizens with required qualification for the position of head of the department, which is originally a faculty member’s job, it is allowed to appoint non-Saudis also for this position.
- Sharia courses, and courses on national topics must be taught by Saudis.
- It is necessary for private universities and colleges to give incentives to encourage Saudi citizens to join work there.
- Faculty members must have Ph. D. or what is equivalent to it from accredited universities and qualification in knowledge fields is required to get the position.
- Educational qualifications of faculty members must have attestation of cultural missions of Ministry of Education.
- Percentage of lecturers, and teaching assistants to total number of department faculty members shall not exceed 20%, not including lecturers and teaching assistants on their sabbatical leave actively seeking graduate studies.
- Language teachers shall teach general courses only (Arabic-English), they shall not teach department courses.
- Out of necessity it is allowed for college to ask part-time faculty members to support, with the approval of their employers, given that maximum teaching load for them is to be six hours; on condition that the percentage of full-time faculty members should not be less than 75% of each department.
Teaching Load: Maximum teaching load (whether with an allowance or without) of full-time faculty members and those similar in rank members are as follows:
Professor||14 approved credit hours|
Associate Professor||14 approved credit hours|
Assistant Professor ||16 approved credit hours|
Lecturer||18 approved credit hours|
Language Teacher||18 approved credit hours|
Teaching Assistant||18 approved credit hours|
Work Load and Recruitment Criteria: Work load and recruitment criteria for laboratory, workshop, studio technicians shall be as follows:
- There should be at least one dedicated technician per lab (lab, workshop and studio).
- Percentage ratio of students-technician in one department should not exceed 40:1, there shall be at least two dedicated technicians in one department.
- Weekly workload for full-time technician should not exceed 48 hours and 12 hours for part-timer.
- Confirming with applied criteria, lab-technician shall be a holder of bachelor degree or holder of an associate degree at least in the respective work specialty.
Percentage Ratio: Faculty Member - Students
Faculty Member : Students|
Humanities and Administration Specializations||1:30|
It is preferred to have Saudi faculty members if available. It is also allowed, to hire non-Saudi faculty members and those similar in rank.
A college is subject to university study and examination bylaws applied in Saudi universities. College board of trustees carries duties assigned to a university council stipulated in aforementioned bylaws.
Minimum credit hours to get a university degree are as follows:
Humanities and Administration Specializations||126 hours|
Applied Specializations||132 hours|
Medical Specializations||140 hours|
Article 5: Founder should make sure, after getting initial license, within two years at most, that general accreditation qualification requirements process has commenced. If four years has elapsed after the initial license, initial license considered as cancelled and never be renewed in any circumstances.
Article 6: To get special accreditation license, a request shall be submitted to the minister with following attachments:
- Copy of valid initial license.
- Copy of general approval (accreditation).
College special accreditation requirements include the following primary criterias:
First: Library ContentsCollege should prepare following:
- Acquisition and development of collections from different information resources, equivalent to 10 minimum titles for each student, there should be at least ten thousand titles in the library at the time of establishment, and provide at least two copies of all titles.
- Library should have subscription of five current publications for all specializations approved in college for general accreditation in any format (on paper, miniaturized, on film, compact drives etc.)
- Provide basic compulsory references of research and studies like language lexicons (dictionaries), knowledge encyclopedias, biographies, secondary books, and guidebooks, atlas, bibliographies…etc. in Arabic and in foreign languages, the reference material should be at least 5% of total library holdings.
- Apply latest university library systems, guidelines, and standards for proper organization of library collections; by using recordings, entry, Indexing, classification, and cataloging techniques. Proper resource preservation through binding and mending.
- Provide information services including reference, guidance, lending, reserving, photo copying, and requesting graphics of material not available in library for researchers and students. Library should facilitate usage of these services in different ways.
- During a period of maximum two years from college final license, a library information system should work to cope with information technology advancement. There should be a computerized library index for students and researchers for use through personal computers or monitors. A monitor for every 500 students is sufficient given that total monitors are not less than five.
- Library should have adequate staff as per approved standards in this domain, there should be an employee for every 200 students, and there must be at least 30% employees, specialized in library sciences in the total library employees.
- Library halls should be air conditioned, and well equipped with necessary furniture for students seating. e.g: chairs, tables, lockers, shelfs and offices for staff.
- There should be internet services, computer lab, with at least 20 computers in the library.
- Subscriptions in digital libraries.
Second: Machines and Educational Aids College should provide machines and necessary educational aids for study particularly the following:
- Desktop computers, at least one computer for ten faculty members, for faculty members use.
- One overhead projector for each lecture hall. Slide show equipment, one for each academic department.
- Television and video players for educational purposes, one television and one video player for each academic department.
- Slide Show Equipment, one for each Academic Department.
- Photo copiers for academic departments one copier for every 400 students.
- Micro film and microfiche readers for reading and printing.
- Desktop computers for administration and other departments, and other sections of the college.
- White boards for each lecture hall with its accessories.
- Provision of smart boards for each lecture hall.
Third: Registers and Files
College should provide the following:
- Records, files, and student cards, related to their admission, graduation, behavior, exams, grades etc.
- Records and files, for cards of fees, revenues, expenditures and necessities.
- Records and files related to appointments of workers, to include their contracts, and academic certificates documents.
- Records and files for saving college management documents.
- Other ministry decided records.
Fourth: Major-Specific Accreditation Standards
- Detailed information on, laboratory equipments, labs, workshops, studios and educational aids.
- Library contents, and their adequacy, and compatibility to programs college intends to offer, including quantity of books, and their references, their titles, journals. Additionally acquisition policies and qualification of workers in library.
- Detailed information names of faculty members, and those similar in rank. Including names and academic qualification and their experiences of accredited universities in the ministry and their CV’s attached.
- Study strategy of each educational program and all levels written in Arabic and English languages in detailed and clear manners mentioned below:
- Course objectives, course syllabi (topics), computer technology requirements, suggested references and text books.
- Academic references or followed international standards.
- Courses requirements and dependency.
And to acquire special license for starting masters' program in private universities and colleges, it is obligatory to provide following:
- At least first batch of bachelor students graduates in that specialization, from that university or college.
- The university or college, that wants to start the masters' program and want to get license for it, should have academic, institutional and program accreditation from National Commission for Academic Accreditation and Assessment for all of its offered programs.
Founder should make sure to fulfil and provide the ministry within two years after acquiring general approval, special accreditation requirements, and all other documents required by the ministry, or else general approval and initial license will be void.
To get final license application should be submitted in the name of Minister of Education with following attachments:
- Copy of general accreditation.
- Copy of special accreditation of each major.
- Report elaborating preparedness of college to start teaching.
To add specialization or specializations standards of general accreditation and special accreditation shall be applied.
It is not allowed to advertise college or any of its programs before issuance of final license except with a prior ministry approval to do so.
Initial license, general accreditation, special accreditation and final license are issued by the decisions of Minister of Education.
It is not allowed for a college to change its name, address, and educational degrees to award, offered educational programs, or academic systems or its premises where teaching takes place except having an approval of Minister of Education.
College shall submit its annual report to higher education dept. of Ministry of Education. The report must include its state of academic, financial and administrative affairs.
Periodic college audits are conducted by special committee in the ministry, to review actual application of general accreditation, and special accreditation standards, these audits are reported to general committee of license and accreditation.
If college violates private college regulations, or executive rules, or processes' of private college regulations, or submit false information, following actions are taken against it:
- Written warning to it to clear the violation, in prescribed period in the warning.
If the violation continues after the period mentioned in the warning, one of following actions must be taken:
- Ceasing admissions in one or more specializations for one or more academic years.
- Ceasing admissions in the college for one or more academic years.
- Shutting down of college, revocation of license and entailed actions are be taken.
With respect to travel tickets and assignment allowance, board of trustees, who are faculty members, and the ministry representatives, should be paid in similar fashion as of university faculty members. With respect to benefits board of trustees' members shall be treated as university council members.
Private colleges are treated as Saudi universities with regard to conducting/organizing of conferences and symposia. It is entirely forbidden for private universities and colleges to enter in agreements with foreign colleges and universities. in addition, it is not allowed for these universities to award academic certification except after written approval from the Ministry of Education.
Minister of Education is entitled to interpret these rules.